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Record 4,032 doctors to start GP training placements by February

Record 4,032 doctors to start GP training placements by February

Health Education England has announced that a record 4,032 GP trainees have accepted placements to join the profession.

The new recruits will begin specialist general practice training by February and include both foundation-year doctors as well as locally-employed or trust-grade doctors and consultants wanting to retrain as a GP.

HEE announced today that it has hit the Government’s target for GP specialty trainee recruitment for the fifth year running – with 4,032 trainees accepting placements against a target of 4,000.

Last year, 4,001 GP trainees were recruited against the same target, up from 3,793 in 2020 against a 3,500 target.

HEE primary and integrated care medical director Professor Simon Gregory said: ‘I am delighted that so many doctors have accepted their offer on GP specialty training programmes across England.

‘There is no denying that it is a difficult time for the profession, with GPs under growing pressure as demand increases – but it is heartening that thousands of doctors are continuing to see general practice as a rewarding and valuable career.’

He added: ‘We have consistently met or exceeded annual GP training targets and initiatives like the national Choose GP campaign demonstrate our ongoing commitment to helping to provide a sustainable workforce.’

HEE director of education and quality and national medical director Professor Wendy Reid said it is ‘fantastic news’ because it ‘has never been more important to promote careers in primary care’.

And health secretary Steve Barclay added that the ‘pipeline of talent’ will strengthen the ‘growing primary care workforce’ and help patients ‘get appointments and access the right service at the right time’.

He said: ‘GPs make a real difference to communities and I am delighted that once again we have hit our recruitment target and more medical students are choosing a career as a GP.

‘I am hugely appreciative to GPs and their teams for all the hard work they do every day in caring for us and our loved ones.’

The latest NHS Digital GP workforce figures showed there were 9,628 GPs in training grade in GP placements across England as of September.

However, the BMA warned the Government that it ‘should not be proud of’ increases in the number of GPs – which rose by just 49 full-time fully-qualified GPs.

And a newspaper recently claimed that the new Prime Minister has omitted the target of recruiting 6,000 more GPs from his brief for the health secretary.

Meanwhile, the Government said in September that there was ‘no room for flexibility this year’ to increase medical school places and that it was doing ‘lots of things’ to address the problems in general practice.

HEE previously paid GP practices in Cumbria £10,000 to take on new trainees, amid a shortage of available training posts.


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Decorum Est 23 November, 2022 12:52 pm

Did someone mention ‘lambs’?

Paul Attwood 23 November, 2022 1:25 pm

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Patrufini Duffy 23 November, 2022 4:43 pm

And? Doesn’t solve the problem of time-wasters, DNAs and consumerism. Oh – that’s right, you’re feeding it, sorry, didn’t get the memo.

Simon Ruffle 24 November, 2022 1:09 pm

Be interesting to see the WTE numbers from this cohort

Thomas Kelly 24 November, 2022 10:01 pm

Thank goodness I’ve been waiting months for a GP appointment! My sore finger got better but I kept on ringing and managed to get past the dragons on reception so have a face to face (which I had to push for I might add) appointment next week. I have a few things I’ve stored up too thought would save the doctor time address them all on the same appointment. I’ve written a long letter about my ADHD symptoms and need an MRI of my back which I’ve got the letter from my chiropractor to support me. Wish me luck!

Just Your Average Joe 24 November, 2022 11:09 pm

Please note that the record numbers are only because the ongoing NHS policy to steal doctors trained in under privileged countries around the world, taking advantage of the cost saving that 3rd world countries are bearing in training these doctors.

We need to make an investment in increasing medical places and have GP only medical schools, and ensure the next generation of doctors in sufficient to meet future needs, as well as our nursing colleagues.

We have an over subscription of bright young students willing to enter medicine and allied healthcare – so we should ensure they have the opportunities to train and be the future of this country.

We also need to drop the EWTD – and go back to 56 hours – so there is adequate training time, and learning opportunities for junior doctors, and this will also help with staffing issues, and ease rotas and pressure in the NHS at the same time.

Rishi Sunak dropped the 6000 target – but the future will be dire unless our leaders in the BMA/LMCs ensure work force planning is at the head of contract negotiations – as there needs to be a career which is vocationally led for the next generation to come to, rather than a privatised salaried rotational/locum merry go round with complete lack of patient continuity as this will be disastrous.